• June 12, 2024

Tobacco Auctions Suspended Due to Covid

 Tobacco Auctions Suspended Due to Covid
Photo: Taco Tuinstra

The Tobacco Board of India has suspended auction sales for a week due to the rapid spread of Covid-19 cases, reports The Times of India.

“With the situation going from bad to worse, we have decided to put off the auctions in view of the welfare of all those involved in the process, including growers, traders and officials,” said Tobacco Board Executive Director Addanki Sridhar Babu.

Sixty-eight employees of the Tobacco Board have reportedly tested positive for Covid-19, and one died due to the coronavirus during the auction season.

To date, Indian farmers have sold about 27 million kg against the expected total production of 110 million kg during the current season. Although the board authorized growers to produce about 115 million kg, production fell short due to weather conditions. Nonetheless, board officials noted that farmers produced “fine” quality leaf.

Growers fetched an average price of INR161.80 ($2.21) per kg compared with INR142 per kg last season.

The board will decide on May 24 whether to resume auction sales.